Belles v Bristol Academy: Buckley warns misfiring Belles

Pictured (L-R) Alyssa Lagonia & Lillie Fenlon-Billson.
Pictured (L-R) Alyssa Lagonia & Lillie Fenlon-Billson.

JOHN Buckley has warned his team to be more ruthless in front of goal - or face the consequences.

Belles squeezed past Premier League side Barnet in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday thanks to a scrambled goal in the last minute of extra time from debutant defender Leandra Little.

The game was overshadowed by a serious knee injury to Doncaster’s marquee signing Sue Smith.

England star Smith had to be rushed to hospital after landing awkwardly just half an hour into her first Belles appearance.

The injury was at the forefront of Buckley’s thoughts when he spoke to the Free Press this week - but he also had a warning for his team after they struggled to get the better of a determined Barnet outfit.

Belles welcome Bristol Academy to the Keepmoat Stadium this afternoon (2pm) in the revamped FAWSL Continental Cup.

Buckley said: “If we don’t start taking our chances we will get punished.

“We had two great chances inside the six yard box on Sunday and we’ve ended up putting them over the bar.

“A few balls have flashed across the face of goal as well, without anybody getting on the end of them.

“In terms of the chances created we were the better team but that doesn’t really count for anything.

“We need to do a lot better in front of goal.

“The girls worked really hard but I think the injury to Sue did affect us,” he added.

“Everyone’s absolutely gutted about what’s happened.

“We have to get on with things though and we have to take the positives away from Barnet.

“I thought Leandra Little played very well at the back and Lyndsey Cunningham and Kasia Lipka did very well too.

“We have to focus on Bristol this weekend and build on Sunday’s performance.”

Smith had opened her Belles account, cancelling out former Doncaster midfielder Abby Prosser’s second minute strike, with a stunning 25-yard finish before landing awkwardly on the touchline at Underhill.

Little’s late strike ended the home side’s plucky challenge for a place in the last eight of the FA Cup.

Belles will host Super League rivals Chelsea in the quarter finals of the competition next weekend.

The tie will be played on Sunday, March 25, at the Keepmoat Stadium (2pm).

Sixth round draw: Doncaster Rovers Belles v Chelsea, Arsenal v Everton, Birmingham City v Sunderland, Bristol Academy v Blackburn.